A group, The Coalition For Civil Society Groups in Abuja has condemned the illegal closure of Obajana cement factory by the government of Kogi State, describing it as illegality taken too far.
The group insists that Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello cannot be the complainant and a judge at the same time, calling for immediate reopening of the factory while engagement continues towards amicable resolution of the impasse.
Kogi State government had on the 3rd of October, 2022 ordered the closure of the factory, saying it was once Obajana Cement owned by the State, but was not aware when it became Dangote Cement.
Among other allegation leveled by Kogi State government against Dangote cement, as enumerated by The Coalition For Civil Society Groups in Abuja include,
“That the Dangote Cement has not been doing its corporate Social Responsibility to its host community;
“That the company has not paid revenue to the State Government;
“That Alhaji Aliko Dangote, a global icon, modest business mogul, a Nigerian and one of the highest employers of labour around the globe is yet to honour the invitation of the Kogi State House of Assembly.”
The group in a statement signed by Convener, Comrade Godwin Elechi says its thorough investigations and assessment indicates that Kogi State government is being economical with the truth as well as misleading the general public just to justify the illegal action.
“The fact of the matter is that the Dangote Cement in Obajana has paid revenue to the State Government to the tune of Fourteen billion Naira (N14,000,000,000). It is also an incontrovertible fact that the company has been performing its Cooperate Social Responsibilities with its host communities.
“Notable among their CSR is not only in line with international practice and standards but also, some of the Dangote CSR projects include: the provision of power supplies, donations of transformers to host community, provision of motorable and access roads, building and renovation of schools, the employment of indigenes to the various sectors of the company, scholarships and periodic bursary to students of the host community.
“In addition to that was the construction of 35 kilometres of the Kabba-Obajana road under Tax Rebate and the provision of other basic amenities to Obajana, Oyo Iwa and Apata communities” the group says.
While condemning the hasty closure of the factory by Kogi State government, The Coalition For Civil Society Groups in Abuja stated that Dangote Cement company is a legal entity established by law and recognized by law which has not caused any threat to national security that will warrant this unjust closure.
The group says the action of the state government has caused economic sabotage, youths unemployment and more hardship that has negative impacts on daily survival, the livelihood of thousands of Kogites and Nigerians who survive daily from the company.
The group therefore appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, The Senate President Senator Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and other critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project to intervene in this matter before things fall apart.